What Are Outplacement Services?
2021 Outplacement Benefits Guide

This guide is where you’ll find everything you need to know about outplacement, including:

  • What are outplacement services?
  • The evolution of the outplacement industry
  • What types of outplacement services are available?
  • Average program costs
  • Specific pricing for outplacement programs
  • Examples of useful career transition tools that help separated employees with their job search

If you’re trying to decide on an outplacement firm, you’re in the right place.

Just want to know the cost of outplacement services?


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What Is Outplacement?

Outplacement Definition

“Any service that assists a departing employee with obtaining a new job or transitioning to a new career.  Access to outplacement is offered by some employers as an employee benefit for their staff.”
Source: Investopedia

When a company is preparing for layoffs, it will often utilize an outplacement program to help impacted workers transition to new jobs.

Sometimes program support is handled internally. Most times, it’s handled by an external outplacement firm.


Evolution of the Outplacement Industry

After World War II, the job market in America exploded. Employees could get a job easily and could expect to be in that job for the rest of their career.

But the merger and acquisition boom that followed produced a negative consequence: burdensome bureaucracies and structures. Corporations began breaking up their complex bureaucracies and structures, which resulted in employee layoffs. Managers became concerned about how to curb the negative effects of high termination rates.

As an answer, the outplacement industry emerged. Outplacement firms offered services to help organizations effectively downsize and support their impacted workers in their career transition.

As corporations expanded their reach, national outplacement firms that could serve all exiting employees regardless of location gained favor over local and regional companies.


Job Search & Resume Screening Process Evolves

The Internet has changed both how we find jobs and how we recruit employees.

Today’s job seeker conducts their job search online, and can apply for more jobs at a quicker pace. With the shift to online job search, employers receive far more resumes than in the past.

To cope with the large amount of resumes received for each job posting, most employers now perform first-pass resume screening with automated software that looks for specific keywords rather than having resumes initially reviewed by HR.

This software-based automated resume screening process is used by companies as the sole means of initially screening resumes, eliminating the vast majority of job applicants from further consideration.

According to SearchCIO.com, nearly all large companies as well as 50% of mid-sized companies and utilize this automated recruitment process.

With this change in the initial resume screening process, the content of a job seeker’s resume has become an even more critical element in the job search process.

Role of Career Transition Consultants

The best outplacement programs provide job seekers with one-on-one job search support and consultation time.

In short, a Career Transition Consultant assists the job seeker with any aspect of the job search—resume writing and posting, cover-letter writing, establishing an online presence, salary research, and more.

Ideally, Career Transition Consultations should be ongoing over a period of months.


Features of Outplacement Benefits

When done correctly, outplacement benefits can provide your impacted employees with the support they need to transition effectively into a new position.


Selection factors for employers to consider when evaluating programs include:

  • Publishes costs online along with a clear description of the services provided
  • Provides ongoing career transition support for months rather than days or weeks
  • Accessible remotely with one-on-one telephone consultation time with a dedicated Career Transition Consultant as well as online tools
  • Doesn’t impose a required minimum number of impacted employees as part of the contract
  • Doesn’t contractually bind you to an exclusive arrangement for any period of time
  • Offers personalized individual services rather than a group seminar program
  • Includes writing a resume and cover letter for the separated employee

Cost of Outplacement

The cost of outplacement can vary greatly from firm to firm.

More than two-thirds of 265 U.S. employers with layoffs over two years spent an average of $3,589 per displaced employee, according to the American Management Association and Institute for Corporate Productivity.



Source: The American Management Association and Institute for Corporate Productivity

Some firms don’t publish the cost of programs online to be able to charge different prices to different customers.

Quest Outplacement offers outplacement programs starting at $995 per individual.

Get Pricing Info

Quest is transparent and consistent about the price of services. Request complete info on programs and prices:

Useful Tools for Job Seekers


At Quest, we are constantly creating and refining tools that job seekers can use to boost their performance in the job search.

Customizing Resumes to the Target Position

According to a survey by CareerBuilder, 63% of HR managers will pay more attention to a resume that is tailored to the open position. Many job seekers are unaware of the importance of resume tweaking. We created an easy-to-follow infographic that teaches job seekers how to customize their resumes to the opportunities they seek.


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Helping Job Seekers Explore All Options During the Job Search

One of the things Quest emphasizes to job seekers is that they must expand their approach to landing desired positions.

A mountain of statistics are available which show that employers and recruiters use a variety of methods to fill open positions—not just one thing.

Before coaching a job seeker on strategy, we like to show them some statistics which can help them understand the necessity of a comprehensive approach:


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Brochure with exact prices and features of outplacement


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